Remitz has the hot hand. This is getting interesting.
I holler out, "Great job Derek, we're outta here."
He looks up and says, "Well hold on now, I kinda like you guys being here. I like how this is going so far."
Me, "We gotta head in and get the pictures up. You've already caught them too good."
Remitz, "Stay with me for one more drift," said with a smile.
How can you turn down an invitation like that? One more drift it is.
Another quick run up the shoal, another drift, another bite. This time one of the ones Remitz really needs, a 4-1/2 pounder. The wind is still doing its thing, the waves are still doing their thing, and now Remitz is finally doing his thing. "Turns out I might actually know what I'm doing," said Remitz after a long morning of self-doubt.
On Day 1 Derek Remitz weighed 24-4 to sit in second place. But the end result isn't a very good indicator of how the day went. Five bites. That's a little better description of the day. "I was lucky to catch what I caught," Relitz said after weighing his fish on Day 1. "I just went to a place where I've caught 'em in the past and the wind was blowing the perfect direction for me to drift it."
So far this morning, Remitz has had one bite. And he just lost it. After a ferocious battle the. 4-1/2 pound smallie pulled off just as Remitz was getting into position to bring it aboard. He whipped his rod around in disgust and climb back to his trolling motor. The waves are building here and turning into rollers. The nose of the boat goes up and down as each wave passes. In these conditions running is work. Fishing is a challenge. Landing a fish, a real chore. Remitz may have another 24-4 in him today, but don't look at the standings if he does and think it was anywhere close to easy.
About the time one loses hope, hope finds him.
Derek Remitz has been scoreless for the first 3 hours of the day. Drift after drift Remitz drops his drop shot and reels it in with nothing but a worm on the other end of his line. The one missed opportunity of the morning becomes more and more painful with every unproductive drop.
Then in an instant all the voices inside Remitz's head are silenced by the scream of his spinning reel. He's hooked up. A tense battle ensues and relief rushes over Remitz as he grabs hold of the lips of a 3-pound smallmouth. No giant, but she's in the boat and not swimming away with broken bits of his heart.
An enthusiastic applause from our garners a smile from Remitz. "I was beginning to wonder," he said. No sooner had the words left his mouth than he was hooked up again. Judging by the rod bend, this one apparently a little bigger. Another tense battle, another hand in the water and this time Remitz hugs a 4-pounder into the boat.
In two drops of the dropshot Remitz has erased the memory of two hundred fruitless drops before. He's in the zone, the fish are biting and he's only three drops away from grabbing the Day 2 lead.
We found Derek Remitz and JT Kenney both fishing the same shoal. Remitz sitting in second after Day 1, battling for a shot at the Bassmaster Classic. Kenney shuffled back in the pack after Day 1, but fighting tooth and nail for his bid at the Elite Series. Both anglers are scoreless so far, letting the wind blow them down the shoal a few hundred yards before cranking the big motor and repositioning at the head of the shoal again.
My camera boat driver for the week Brandon Osting and I are sitting in the middle of Lake Erie waiting for Derrick Remitz. This is where he plans to fish today. I say 'plans to' because nothing is guaranteed when it comes to traveling on Lake Erie. This scene looks calm, peaceful even. But the absence of white caps doesn't mean much. We're in the midst of a 3-foot choppy waves that are fighting to become rollers. Before we launched this morning, Brandon asked me to help him come up with a nickname for his 20-ft ProCraft. About 10 minutes into our run this morning, after leaving the water 50 times or so, I suggested he just scratch out the "Pro" and replace it with "Air" to read AirCraft.
On our little jaunt out this morning, the bolts on Brandon's onboard charger broke. Really though we were lucky that was the only casualty. And what's wild is its not really that bad out today. The ride in may be a different story...
We made our way from takeoff to the Pelee Island region and we have seen numerous clusters of boats. We've seen a couple fish catches so far, including one by Elite Series hopeful Adrian Avena.
Some guys are trying not to think about a possible Elite invite, but it is certainly on the forefront of Avena's mind.
"One more fish," said Avena. "One more fish and I could be fishing the Elite Series."
He just boated number five, but it was his smallest of the day.
We are bobbing and weaving through boats to find the leader David Reault. Word is he is around this region somewhere.